Ridge powers Elk Grove to win over Wheeling

By John Bumbales
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 4/9/2021 11:18 PM

Elk Grove and Wheeling were both ready to get their first win of the 2021 spring season when they met in a Mid-Suburban League football game Friday night.

And behind a spectacular performance by senior running back Ian Ridge, it was the host Grenadiers who easily toppled the Wildcats as Ridge ran for 3 touchdowns in the first half alone to stake Elk Grove to a commanding 34-7 halftime lead.


From there, the Grenadiers (1-3) rolled to a 47-15 MSL East victory over Wheeling (0-4) as Ridge piled up 304 yards rushing on 23 carries to go along with 4 rushing touchdowns and two 2-point conversions.

"I think we had a great ground game tonight, but besides me I think my offensive line was why I did as good as I did today and at the end of the day we came out with the win," said Ridge, who had 194 yards on 13 rushes in the first half. "This week we practiced so hard, and coming into the game we felt super-confident in our scheme and it obviously showed when we got on the field, we never let up."

The first time he touched the football the Drake-bound Ridge scored on a 37-yard TD run for a 6-0 lead before the Grenadiers found themselves backed up to their own 3-yard-line on their second possession.

But that was no problem as Ridge broke a tackle right away, faked out a Wheeling defender, and went 97 yards for the touchdown the second time he touched the ball for a quick 14-0 advantage.

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Ridge followed that up with a 23-yard TD run before Wheeling quarterback Solomon Hudson (91 yards on 18 attempts) scored on a 2-yard TD run to cut the lead to 20-7 early in the second quarter.

Elk Grove quarterback Joe Gaskill (4-for-10, 93 yards passing) closed out the first half scoring with a 14-yard TD pass to Sebastian Halilovic, and a 38-yard TD pass to Joshua Bilodeau for the 27-point halftime lead.

"He (Ridge) has been doing his thing the last two years, and he has to prepare this week for another good opponent," said Elk Grove coach Miles Osei, whose team is at Hersey next week. "Our linemen did a pretty good job blocking. We definitely have to clean some things up because we had way too many penalties in my opinion. But they did a good job up front communicating and helping some of our ball carriers out."

Wheeling's Simon Micula rushed for 69 yards on 15 carries while Elk Grove's Mike Myrdacz had 36 yards on 5 carries and a fourth-quarter TD run. Hudson added an 8-yard TD run late to close out the scoring.

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